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GP Week : Issue 99
JAPAN's Kamui Kobayashi has retained his seat at the Swiss-based Sauber team for 2011, meaning he will stay on in the sport for a second full season next year. Kobayashi joined Sauber in December 2009 following the sudden withdrawal of Toyota from Formula One, and has proven his worth this year with a string of strong performances in the C29. "We had a very difficult start to the season, but we've worked together to pull ourselves out of that situation," began Kamui. "I feel very much at home in Peter Sauber's team and am very pleased we'll be working together again in 2011. However, for now I'm focusing one-hundred per cent on this year. There are still six grand prix weekends to go in 2010, and we'll be hoping to make up more ground." Team principal and owner Peter Sauber said there was never any doubt about Kamui retaining his seat for 2011: "We enjoy having our rookie as part of the team -- both as a driver and a person," says Sauber. "We never had any doubts about working with him again in 2011. "Kamui has definitely fulfilled our expectations in terms of his speed and fighting spirit. Plus, his work with the engineers and his technical understanding has also developed very well. The experience he has built up over his first full season in Formula One will certainly stand him in good stead for 2011. And our aim is to give him a fast and reliable car from the outset next season." The team is yet to announce the identity of Kamui's team-mate, but all rumours point in the direction of Mexico's Sergio Perez, likely to be this year's GP2 runner-up. He will bring significant sponsor backing with him from Telmex and has more than proven his worth as a competitive driver. Kobayashi keeps Sauber seat for 2011 Perez tipped as team-mate 12